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Depression must stay in the QOF

Independent Mental Health Sector Alliance members were pleased to see that the QOF indicators for depression remain in the newly published GP contract, after reports that NICE had recommended they be scrapped.

NICE urges Government to drop QOF depression indicators

One in two women and one in five men will be affected by depression at some point. With the coming advent of GP-led commissioning, with all the extra responsibilities it brings, it is vital that a tool remains to ensure depression and other ‘low-level' mental health problems are not neglected.

We encourage NICE to ensure these QOF systems remain in place in the future, to ensure GPs continue to diagnose and treat depression as part of a comprehensive focus on mental health.

The total cost of mental illness is estimated at £105bn a year.GPs must be vigilant in ensuring they meet the new QOF standards, as we all know that poorly managed mental health conditions can lead to deterioration in physical health – placing more burdens on overstretched services and  on patients' wellbeing.

From Dr Alison Rose-Quirie
Chair, Independent Mental Health Sector Alliance


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